We’ve all seen the news reports and video clips of horrified parents cutting open their child’s bath toys to find that they’re filled with that horrible black, gunky mould. Maybe you’ve spotted some of your own child’s toys looking a little dirty too? Never fear. Here is your complete guide to keeping baby toys clean and free from mould- read on to find out more.
Why do bath toys go mouldy?
Scientists have revealed the staggering truth about what's lurking inside your baby's bath toys. Spoiler alert: it's not pleasant.
Bath toys with holes and squeakers
Those cute, sometimes squeaking bath toys that float, squirt and delight? They need to go. Sorry. Because most bath toys are made with a hole that enables them to fill with water, they're actually a virile breeding ground for bacteria and mould- and that means your bathroom is exposed to this every time your little one takes a splash.
How mould forms in bath toys
Mould thrives in damp, humid & wet conditions- ie, your bathroom. Put simply, a wet surface is the perfect breeding ground for mould- so because the inside of your baby’s bath toys are wet and warm, the conditions are ripe for mould and mildew to thrive.
How do I clean mouldy bath toys?
If you don't want to throw away your old bath toys, you can have a go at cleaning them and removing the mould from inside. It's not a pleasant job, and it will need to be done regularly too. Simply place the toys in a solution of white vinegar and water and leave to soak overnight. The toys can then either be placed into the dishwasher or cleaned thoroughly in warm soapy water. Don't forget to squeeze them to get rid of as much water from the inside as you can- and dry them thoroughly.
How can I prevent bath toys from going mouldy?
Mouldy bath toys are not only gross to look at, but they can potentially pose a health risk to your child too- so it’s a good idea to do what you can to prevent it from happening in the first pace.
Choose bath toys that don’t have a hole
It’s a simple but effective solution. If your child’s bath toy doesn’t have a hole, water won’t collect inside. And if water doesn’t collect inside, mould cannot form inside.
You will still need to clean these bath toys regularly (more on that in a minute) but you’re less likely to experience black mould if the toy is made in one solid piece- like our multi-award winning Cuddleduck. We designed it this way for this very reason!
Modify your bath toys
If you insist on keeping your toys with the pesky water collecting hole, then you'll want to take steps to ensure you're doing all you can to prevent mould.
Either fill the hole with glue (not preferable, seeing as your baby may well want to chew the toy!) or carefully cut a bigger hole into the toy. This means that water will drain more easily and you can get inside to dry the toy out after every bath time.
Build a cleaning routine for your bath toys
It’s so important to maintain good cleaning habits for your baby’s bath toys- especially considering most of them will be going straight into their mouth!
Have a good bath toy sort out
First things first- get rid of those old bath toys lurking a the bottom of the toy tub NOW. If they've been making regular appearances at bath time there's a really good chance they're breeding that yucky black mould and the easiest thing to do is just replace them all now.
Rinse your toys after every bath time
If you do have toys with a hole at the bottom, keeping them clean is imperative. After every bath time, squeeze them as hard as you can to get rid of any water lurking in there. Then rinse them clean and dry thoroughly. Don't store them on top of each other- instead allow them a space of their own so that air can circulate freely.
Regularly clean & check your bath toys
If you have a Cuddleduck or another toy with no hole, you still need to take care after bath time. As with other bath toys, you need to rinse and dry them thoroughly and allow to stand until next time.
All bath toys should be washed regularly with soap and water, and allowed to dry completely before they’re used again. Some parents even use the dishwasher to clean their bath toys- that’s up to you.
It's also important to carry out regular checks of your bath toys to ensure there is nothing nasty hanging around. Even bath toys with no holes need to be checked, as you would with any other toy, to make sure they're safe for your baby to use. Don't skip this- especially if there's a chance your regular bath toys could be breeding mould. If in doubt, throw them away immediately.
Buy a Cuddleduck bath toy instead
Seriously, we believe so strongly that bath time should be safe and fun! The Cuddleduck requires very little maintenance, it's made from natural rubber and contains no nasties at all- and that includes the yucky black mould lurking inside other bath toys. Here's what some mums have to say:
"Lily loves her Cuddleduck! She's got her last molar coming through... he's always going in her mouth which is perfectly fine as he's non toxic and made from natural rubber." Lucy.
"Having a rubber duck that doesn't release black gunk after a few uses is genius!" Alex.